When shall I prune my roses?
If you have modern shrub roses or tea roses, prune them while still dormant. In this stage, you can see buds, but the buds have not yet opened. Remove canes that are broken, obviously dead, or which are poorly spaced. Cut back to roughly 18-24 inch varied lengths.
The timing can range from February to early April in mid-Michigan. A good, easy-to-remember guide is to prune when your forsythia first begins blooming. Prune to open the shrub to light and air, and cut at a 45-degree angle a quarter inch above an outward facing bud.
If you have heritage climbing or shrub roses, they are usually best pruned after blooming, as they bear flowers on the previous year’s wood. Always use clean, sharp pruning shears or lopper, cleaning the tools with alcohol before and after use, to prevent the spread of disease.